Yes, with a "B." I promise I do read things besides pharma news (last three blog entries about pharma or related). It's just the pharma industry is out of control this month! $1.415 Billion...that's some serious dinero, folks. Eli Lilly and Co. agreed Jan. 15 to plead guilty and pay $1.415 billion to resolve allegations related to the promotion of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for off-label uses.
The resolution includes a criminal fine of $515 million, which the DOJ said was "the largest ever in a health care case, and the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a United States criminal prosecution of any kind." The company also agreed to forfeit an additional $100 million in assets. The company signed a plea agreement admitting its guilt to a misdemeanor criminal charge of misbranding. In a criminal information filed against Lilly in connection with the agreement, the company was charged with promoting the medication as a treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia, among other off-label uses.
The company also agreed to pay up to $800 million in a civil settlement with the federal government and the states. The settlement resolves allegations that by marketing Zyprexa for unapproved uses, the company caused false claims for payment to be submitted to Medicaid and other federal health care programs. The civil allegations originally were brought in four qui tam lawsuits brought under the federal False Claims Act. The federal share of the civil settlement will be $438 million, with $361 million going to states that choose to participate in the agreement. The qui tam relators (employees of Lilly most probably) will receive more than $78.8 million from the federal share of the civil settlement amount. The Lilly press release says there has been "a resolution" and they are concerned about the "misdemeanor charge." Denial is a powerful thing, ya'll. You have to admit you have a problem with your corporate culture before you can change it.